An independent bookshop in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, is the winner of the coveted Bookstore of the Year Award in The London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards.
Minoa wowed the panel of judges with its beautiful “must-see” presentation of books that has made it a tourist attraction in Istanbul.
The Turkish outlet beat three other bookshops from around the world that were on the short-listed for the prestigious prize: Dukagjini Bookstore (Kosovo), and Rovingheights (Nigeria), and Strandläufer Verlagsbuchhandlung (Germany).
Judges described Minoa as “a labour of love, serving their community through a team that is valued by both Minoa’s owners and its customers,” and praised the store for its event space, cafe, and used-book library, which they felt created an environment that encouraged people ‘to linger, to browse, to read a book with a cup of coffee.’
International Excellence Awards
The owners of the store, husband and wife Nazım and Petek Tokuz, and several members of their Minoa team were on hand to receive their prize at the London Book Fair in Olympia, a massive annual trade event brings together over 25,000 industry people from the world of publishing.
The couple picked up their trophy at an invite-only ceremony on Day 2 of the Fair, along with other winners of the International Excellence Awards. They included Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) for the inaugural Sustainability Initiative Award, Macmillan Audio (USA), which picked up the Audiobook Publisher Award for 2023, and Bonnier Books (UK) received the Inclusivity in Publishing Award.
Now in their tenth year, the LBF’s International Excellence Awards recognise achievements across the globe.
Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Gareth Rapley, director of The London Book Fair, said: “We are proud to announce the winners of the International Excellence Awards 2023.
“Year after year, the book industry proves itself to be innovative and resilient during challenging times, and our 2023 winners represent an inspiring array of talent, from bookstores creating community hubs to major publishers advocating for greener and more inclusive working environments to those advancing the limits of audio production. We look forward to spotlighting our winners at The London Book Fair 2023.”
Minoa expanding in Istanbul
For Minoa, the international recognition helps with their domestic plans to expand the small chain. Their original flagship store, located in the historic district of Akaretler in Beşiktaş, near to Dolmabahçe Palace, opened nine years ago in 2014.
Minoa Akaretler quickly became a hit with booklovers in the city, who fell in love with its magical layout and stunning display of more than 45,000 Turkish and foreign language books. The store also boasts an in-store 80-seater cafe-brasserie.
Within months of its first branch opening, Minoa added a second in trendy Nişantaşı. Its third store, known as Minoa Village, opened in 2020 in Etiler, Levent. A fourth store, Minoa Pera, is expected to open in Tepebaşı later this year.
Main picture, top, of Minoa with their Bookstore of the Year Award at The London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards, Olympia, London, 19 April, 2023. Photo from The London Book Fair